US special envoy arrives in Islamabad on two-day visit on April 4

Khalilzad is likely to take Pakistani leadership into confidence over Afghan peace process


Khalid Mahmood April 02, 2019
Khalilzad is likely to take Pakistani leadership into confidence over Afghan peace process. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: United States special envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad is scheduled to arrive on a two-day official visit to Pakistan on Thursday, April 4, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

Khalilzad, who is currently visiting Kabul, is likely to take the Pakistani civil and military leadership into confidence over ongoing Afghan peace process, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

The US special envoy would be apprised of Pakistan’s concerns regarding the matter while the Pakistani leadership would also be taken into confidence over dialogue with the Afghan Taliban.

US peace envoy returns to Kabul ahead of peace talks

Khalilzad, in his ongoing visit to Kabul, has already held important meetings with the Afghan officials ahead of his next round of talks with the Taliban aimed at ending more than 17 years of war.

His last round of talks with the Taliban in Doha was originally slated to last two days in February, but dragged on for 16 days, eventually ending March 12 with Khalilzad saying “real strides” had been made.

On the table were proposals to get foreign armed forces to leave Afghanistan, and the Taliban to guarantee the country cannot be used as a springboard for terror groups to launch any future attacks.

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The State Department has said Khalilzad’s trip was “part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that brings all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations”.

The Taliban have long refused to speak with Kabul, deeming the administration of President Ashraf Ghani — who is seeking re-election this year — puppets of the West.

Khalilzad’s trip has already seen him stop in London and Brussels as he seeks global support for a peace deal.

Last week, he met representatives from China, Russia and the European Union in Washington.

With additional input from AFP

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